Good Monday morning everyone! I’m so glad that the weekend had nice weather here in NC. However, it’s been a bit chilly in the mornings, I think I am going to have to start wearing a jacket soon to walk the pooch! I was able to get so much accomplished this weekend – the lawn got mowed, we went to a Corn Maze, I made homemade Snickers and Almond Joy candy bars!! And was quite productive in the kitchen. Did you catch the recipe for the Kitchen Sink Pumpkin Cookies?
I’m excited to share with you a few back and bicep moves using dumbbells. I know we went through proper technique with the bands (Resistance Bands: Chest and back, Upper body, and Legs) for a ton of these moves, but wanted to show them to you with hand weights as well. There are a few moves that I think are great to use the bands, bicep curls being one of them. Sometimes I can’t get the bands to cooperate with me when I’m doing back exercises though. Dumbbells are just so much easier.
Please remember that a tight core is your friend to keeping you injury free during these back moves. How do you know if you have a tight core you ask? Well I would say the easiest way would be to flex so that if you were to get hit in the stomach with a fist, it would hurt but wouldn’t take the breath out of you. This isn’t the best visual but I’m sure we have all been kicked or punched in the stomach by a small child at some point in our lives. No, just me lol? Anyways, the body naturally responds to that by tensing up if possible. Try to mimic that motion for your stomach during these moves.
Dumbbell Back and Biceps Workout
3 sets | 8-12 Reps | 45 second rest
Perform each move for 3 sets of 8-12 reps. Rest for 45 seconds between sets.
Wide Grip Pull Ups – Use a wide grip, arms will be further out than shoulder distance, almost to the edge of the bar. Palms will face away from the body. Grip the pull up bar tightly and engage your core. You may want to have a chair or sturdy object to stand on as a beginner. Gripping the bar tightly, pull yourself up, squeezing the back, trying not to use your arms or shoulders to do the pulling. You can do this by pulling down and towards your body with your elbows while you raises your body up. As a beginner you may want to just practice this move, standing on a sturdy object, pull up until you are on your tip-toes. When you lower your body down, you only need to go until your arms are about parallel with shoulders (elbows at 90 degrees) then pull yourself back up. This is a back exercise, not an arm exercise, so no need to go all the way back down.
I forgot to take a picture of this (sorry)! Either way, pull ups are a GREAT back exercise. Most of us hate them but they perfectly target the back muscles when performed correctly. Use a chair at your feet to help your get up the bar if need be!
Bent Over Rows – (Pictures 1 and 2 above) Bend your knees slightly. Bend over at hips, not at the waist with weights in each hand, palms facing each other. You arms should be straight but elbows are not locked. With a tight core, slowly bend the elbows back so that the weights come towards you and to your armpits. Keep your arms close to your sides and don’t flare the elbows out. Your hands should stay so that palms are facing each other throughout the move. Squeeze your back so that you could crack and egg between your shoulder blades if it was there. Hold for one count and slowly lower to start.
Bent Over Rows, Bicep Curls – (Pictures 1-3 above) Start by performing one bent over row. When going back to starting position, instead of performing another row, do a bicep curl by bending at the elbows and squeeze the bicep. Do this by bringing the weight up, palms facing the chest and core tight. Squeeze the bicep at the top of the move and release slowly. Make sure not to swing the body during the move. If at any point you realize you are swinging your body to get the weight up, lower your weight, as you are no longer using your bicep muscle to perform this exercise if you are swinging instead of lifting!
Rear Delt Flies – Bend your knees slightly and lean forward slightly at the hips, engage your core. Bring the weights to the front of you just in front of your knees. Have your arms bent slightly at the elbow and do not rest the weight on your knees. To perform the move spread your arms out wide like a bird opening it’s wings to fly. Squeeze your back shoulder blades together (crack that egg!). Hold for one count at the top. Slowly bring your arms back to starting position in a controlled manner, abs stay engaged.
Wide Back Row – Bend your knees slightly. Bend over at hips, not at the waist with weights in each hand, palms facing behind you. Your arms should be straight but elbows are not locked. With a tight core, slowly bend the elbows back and outward so that the weights come towards your elbows, until the elbow is parallel with the shoulder (see above). Your hands should stay so that palms are facing behind you throughout the move. Squeeze your back so that you could crack an egg between your shoulder blades if it was there. Hold for one count and slowly lower to start.
Push-up Row – This is a multi muscle targeted move. Place hands on the floor just under your shoulders. Feet wider than hips, keeping your legs straight and core strong. Lower your body to the floor keeping your head straight Have your arms slightly bend in and not flared out. Raise your self back off the ground continuing to keep your core strong and head straight. At the top of the move pull one weight back up towards your armpit in a wide row fashion. Go back into another push up and the do the other side. This move can be performed on your knees as well.
Alternating Bicep Curl – Bend knees slightly and engage your core. Keep your arms at your side and with your right arm lift the weight straight up towards your shoulder, your palm should face your shoulder at the top of the move. At the top of the move squeeze your bicep to engage the muscle. Then lower the weight back to starting position in a controlled manner. Do not swing the weight, and do not lean backwards while doing this exercise. Keep your elbows at your sides. Repeat with left side. This is one rep.
Alternating Hammer Curls – Much like the alternating bicep curls. Bend knees slightly and engage your core. Keep your arms at your side, palms facing the body (see above). With your right arm lift the weight, bending the elbow, bring the weight toward the shoulder. Don’t twist your palm, but instead keep the weight straight like a hammer and your palms facing inward. At the top of the move squeeze your bicep to engage the muscle. Then slowly lower the weight back to starting position in a controlled manner. Do not swing the weight, and do not lean backwards while doing this exercise. Keep your elbows at your sides. Repeat with left side. This is one rep.
Boat Curls – This move you will really need to engage your core. Have both weights in your hands and get into boat position, squeeze that core to stay straight, no curvy back. Do a bicep curl by raising both weights to your shoulders at the same time and squeeze your biceps, slowly return back to starting position. This is an advanced move that you can work up to. To practice, you can rest your feet on a step bench or you can perform this move on the swiss ball, feet stay on the ground but your upper body will lean back as shown in the picture above. Core has to stay engaged throughout this move.
What about you?
- Do you have a favorite back or bicep move?
- Have you ever made your own candy?
- Did you get to do anything on your Fall checklist this weekend?